OXG sat down with Denz and Zed, the General Manager and Head Coach who will be leading Boston's CDL expansion franchise in the 2022 Call of Duty League. Denz and Zed bring over a decade of competitive COD experience to the franchise having played on some of the largest teams in Call of Duty, most recently working together while on Team Reciprocity and the Paris Legion. No strangers to the CDL, these two are thrilled to utilize their years of experience as players and coaches and transfer that knowledge to the players they choose to represent Boston.
So, guys, years of experience as players, but how does the perspective change for you now that you aren’t the ones playing?
Denz: The perspective for myself now that I’m not the one playing doesn’t change too much. It is, and always will be: Give yourself the best chance at winning as much as you possibly can. However, the approach on how to combat situations and create those inches and seconds we need to beat our opponents have changed. From roster formation to team preparation, to how we shape practice, there’s a multitude of in-depth levels to influence the team for the better, and this is something I will be looking to explore and experiment with.
Zed: I think that my six years of playing experience have prepared me for this moment, so taking that experience and using it to help our team will be the only change. I know how to treat players correctly and give them the opportunity they need to succeed.
New franchise, and new experiences for everyone! What makes you the most excited about the upcoming season of CDL?
Denz: What I’m most excited about for in the upcoming season is just that competitive environment. Although I’m not competing as a player, I’m competing in another way, and the fire still burns to overcome any obstacles and hurdles in our way.
Zed: The most exciting thing for me is being able to start fresh with a new brand and help grow it out one day at a time. So many ideas for great content are in my head already!
You both have had and continue to have successful careers, what has been your proudest moment in esports so far?
Denz: The proudest moment in my career so far would have to be this opportunity. To be the general manager of a franchised team is something that just doesn’t happen overnight. To see my perseverance, strong work ethic, and high-quality standards allow this opportunity to come to fruition is something I’m proud of.
Zed: The proudest moment in my career truthfully wasn’t a good result or clutch moment, it was when I paid in full a trip for my mum and dad to fly out to Los Angeles so they could watch me play in person for the first time. Being able to see how proud they were was the best feeling ever.
Obviously announcing a new CDL franchise is going to draw tons of attention from players. Is there a certain energy or vibe that you’re looking for?
Denz: What I’m looking for in a potential player is the willingness to learn, the desire to improve, and the hunger to win. A big factor for me is a players’ attitude and mental fortitude, as I believe these separate the good from the great. The reason I say this is because throughout my time competing, and to a lesser extent coaching, I’ve come across a fair amount of talent. Unfortunately, very few manage to break through or continue to evolve because of their lack of fight and unwillingness to make sacrifices to overcome the hurdles in their way
Zed: You come across all sorts of personalities in COD. I’m just looking for hard-working players who want to get on every day and get better.
While this is an exciting moment for Boston, there is a huge challenge ahead. As an expansion franchise, what is your expectation for this upcoming season? Is it safe to have any major expectations this early?
Denz: I always have high expectations and a shoot for the stars mentality, but I also like to remain realistic. I would say coming into this unique position many will tout us as the “12th best” team. Time is not on our side, and our competition already has 11 fully signed rosters. I’d be wrong to claim we have an easy road ahead, however, I can assure the community and fans that we plan to build this team the right way. We’re going to focus our core on the future stars of tomorrow – young, explosive talent – to set up Boston for long-term success. Ultimately, I’m aiming to give fans something to be excited about.
Zed: Being the last team to field a team is going to come with its challenges. What my career taught me is that anything is possible. That’s my expectation for us: Anything is possible!
Again, you two continue to have extremely successful careers in Call of Duty. Going from players to now the staff behind a CDL franchise. Looking back, would you do anything differently on your journey to get to this point?
Denz: It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride to get to where I am today with plenty of highs and plenty of lows. The landscape has dramatically changed over the last couple of years, and it has only made more sense for me personally to pursue this career path. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity and the support I’ve been given to get here.
Zed: It’s been a tough one at times, but I wouldn’t change anything. I’m exactly where I want to be!
Alright guys let’s be honest, who do you think is winning the 1v1?
Denz: The only thing Zach can beat me in, in a 1v1 challenge, is eating a Big Mac. This isn’t a joke, it’s seriously impressive I would love to see how he would do in those hot dog eating competitions because I believe he would have a pretty good chance of winning based on his Big Mac capabilities.
Zed: Honestly, I think Denz might be the only player in the world able to beat me. There aren’t many players who could sit in a corner or lay in a bush longer than me, but Denz can.
What do you think each other's secret talent is?
Denz: There’s not much secret about his talent, and that goes back to his ability to eat a Big Mac in 2 bites. Also to what Zed said, I can.
Zed: Denz is extremely mysterious. Sometimes I think he can see the future…
Let’s talk about the Call of Duty esports community, do you have a favorite aspect of the community?
Denz: My favorite part about the COD community is the personalities and entertainment they provide. There is never a dull moment in COD, and these personalities always set up great rivalries worthy of popcorn. Aside from the sheer entertainment they bring, most of the people involved in COD are down to earth and always pushing for improvement in the scene. It’s very refreshing.
Zed: My Favorite aspect of the COD community is how open everyone is on social media. I think it creates great storylines and builds tons of hype for upcoming matches.
Any final thoughts for new fans, old fans, and the Call of Duty community in general?
Denz: You’re with us on this journey, and we couldn’t be more excited. There’s a process to everything and as everybody knows, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I assure you we will be doing everything in our power to create and facilitate a winning system for long-term success. I also want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. If you haven’t watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you should because you’re missing out.
Zed: Thank you so much for your support throughout my career. If my 16-year-old self could see me now, he would be so proud of how far I’ve come. This year is going to have its ups, and it will inevitably have its downs, but that’s just COD. The only thing I ask from the community is that you stay with us through this journey when times get tough, so when we lift that trophy, we can celebrate together.
Big challenges ahead for Boston, but expectations are set from the two heading up the franchise. Denz and Zed are aiming to make Boston an exciting place to play, watch, and support in the 2022 season. News such as roster announcements, and Boston's 2022 season schedule will be available soon.